Canton, NY – Day two of the Liberty League Tournament treated the Clarkson University Volleyball team much more kindly than the opening day, as the Golden Knights dominated first Vassar, and then Skidmore College in the match up between the top two seeds, 25-12, 25-20, 25-22 as the Green and Gold finished second at championships at Burkman Gymnasium held on the campus of St. Lawrence University.
The Golden Knights closed out the regular season with a record of 27-9, finishing 3-1 at the Liberty League Tournament. Skidmore went just 1-3, and finished its season at 24-9.
Clarkson came out flying in the first set, burying 13 kills on 29 swings with no errors and playing inspired defense. The final two sets were closer, but the Knights always seemed to have an extra gear to take over each set. That point was most indicative when Clarkson trailed by five points midway through the third set, called a timeout, and immediately erased the deficit.
Junior Sara Artus (St. Regis Falls, NY) crushed 17 kills with just two errors for the second straight match, dominating the competition all day on Saturday. Classmate Megan Mahon (Irvine, CA) added in 13 kills and sophomore Courtney Haines (Crestview, FL) tossed in seven kills with only one error in 15 attempts. Freshman Lani Durio (Austin, TX) added in 35 assists, while Alison Schroeder (Webster, NY) led the team with 19 digs. Junior Nicole Edwards (Weiser, ID) also played a key role with three aces and six total blocks.
Making the all-tournament team for the Golden Knights were Alison Schroeder and Sara Artus. Schroeder had 83 digs (6.4 per set) and Artus had 64 kills (4.9 per set) at the tournament.
While the Golden Knights were unable to claim a second straight conference title, Clarkson was hardly void of accolades. Freshman setter Lani Durio was selected as the Liberty League Rookie of the Year, taking over the Golden Knights high-octane offense and leading the Knights to a 27-9 overall record through 36 matches. Durio recorded more than 1,100 assists in her first season, the second-highest total in a single-season in the program’s history, and she also posted over 40 aces in the campaign.
Joining Durio as award winners were junior outside hitters Sara Artus and Megan Mahon, as both were selected Liberty League First-Team All-Stars. The duo combined for nearly 900 kills, with Artus breaking her own single-season record for kills in a season with 530. Mahon added 362 kills on the year, and both players also ranked in the top 10 in the conference in hitting percentage as well.
Finally, Johan Dulfer and Alesia Vaccari captured Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year honors with a 27-9 regular season, just two victories shy of the single-season record for the Clarkson Volleyball program. Clarkson was chosen as the top seed at the Liberty League Tournament for the second consecutive season, and the team has posted 55 victories over the past two years. Dulfer also was named coach of the year in 2007, and surpassed the 100 career victory mark earlier in the season.